In the midst of this leadership role, I drove my car into the path of an oncoming motorcycle that killed the rider. This shook me to the depth of my foundations. Immediately there was no way I could reconcile God’s presence in this event. With prayer, self-forgiveness to a much deeper level than ever before, and through spiritual guidance, I was reconciled to the vision that God was present in the accident. It helped me to again look for God in all life experiences.
An important part of my life is spiritual direction/guidance. I have received spiritual direction for 35 years. I have received special training and have offered spiritual direction with others for the past 20 years. This is a process of offering God’s love and grace to people as they reflect on their relationships with God. This has profoundly influenced my own faith and the ability to look for God in all aspects of life.
Also of importance for me is my wife, Elsie. Her faith, love, constant communication, and care are a profound influence on my view of life with God. Life is greatly strengthened by my loving family of three married children and nine grandchildren, of which the youngest is a freshman in college.
Back in seminary, I was introduced to the term “heils geschichte.” It is a German theological concept of the story of the total Bible as salvation history. This biblical interpretation, though not particularly Brethren, proclaims that God continues the work throughout all of history to redeem all of creation, including all of humanity, to God’s self. This redemption includes me. God’s role in salvation history has become significant to me in the recent past. It has enabled me to trust God more in the disabling events of older life as well as in these current times of COVID-19.
Some of my physical issues include:
- Until recently, I suffered with depression my whole life.
- Heart failure and four stents.
- Small non-malignant tumor near my brain affects my hearing and balance; I walk with a walker and still fall with regularity.
- Falls have caused three spinal fractures requiring kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty.
- Prostate cancer.
- Neuropathy in feet and legs.
These issues and others are not easy for me. They require appropriate attention, including good medical care. I am grateful that I have good care and good medical insurance. These issues greatly influence how I live. However, they do not prevent me from saying and believing that “life is good!”
Ken is a retired Church of the Brethren minister who served as pastor, missionary, denominational executive, and CPE supervisor. He currently serves as a spiritual director in McPherson, Kansas where he lives with his wife, Elsie. They attend McPherson Church of the Brethren.